There’s nothing wrong with just picking up a book and reading it to your child. You don’t need to get all fancy and educational with it. Honestly, just snuggling close and browsing your latest library choice is enough to instill a love of reading in your kid.
But, if you want some advice on taking it to the next level, try these seven tips. If your child is old enough to think about your questions and respond, great! If not, answer your own questions out loud. Babies and kids love to hear and learn how you work things out in your head as well.
© Deyan Georgiev / Dollar Photo Club
- Before opening the book, talk about the cover. “What do you see on the cover?” “What is this book called?” “What do you think this book will be about?” “How do you think this book will make you feel?”
- Let your child hold the book and/or turn the pages. Learning the structure of a book and how it works is important information!
- Don’t worry about reading every single word. If you child is interested in something on the page, talk about it. It’s like a baby bookclub! You’re not memorizing the book; you’re just showing your child how to love reading.
- Don’t just read the words either. On each page, talk about the pictures and words. “Can you say hippopotamus?” “What does a cat say?” “Can you find the moon?” “Where do you think that little girl is going?” “Let’s find all of the letter Bs on the page.” “How do you think the little boy feels?”
- When your baby is playing next to you and you actually have time to read a book, try reading out loud. Kids learn to read from hearing what a good reader sounds like.
- When the book is over, keep it alive. Ask you child her thoughts about the book. “How did that book make you feel?” “Do you think you’d read that one again?” And point out things in real life to make a connection. “Look! A cement mixer just like in the book we read.” “Are you frustrated just like the boy in the book? What did he do?”
- Read the same books over and over and overandoverandoverandover…which probably won’t be a problem. Kids love repetition because it is familiar, and they learn from doing things again and again. Some of our favorites are:
What are your best tips for reading to babies and toddlers? How about great read-aloud book recommendations?